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New County Electoral Boundaries for 2017 are an “Insult to Kenilworth”

February 17, 2015 9:18 PM

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has today released its final recommendations for new electoral boundaries for Warwickshire County Council, to come into effect in 2017.

As far as Kenilworth is concerned, the Commission has decided to reject the boundary proposals supported by the majority of the County Council, and instead follow closely the minority view put forward by the Conservative group.

The Kenilworth Abbey electoral division, currently held by Cllr John Whitehouse for the Liberal Democrats, will be carved into three. The whole of the town centre area will move into St John's, while the Albion Street area will move into Park Hill division.

The remainder of the current division, including the historic town centre around the High Street and Castle, together with Burton Green and the University of Warwick campus, will be absorbed into a new large rural division to be called "Lapworth and West Kenilworth", stretching west from the town right the way to the county boundary at Hockley Heath.

Cllr Ann Blacklock (Lib Dem), district councillor for Abbey ward, said:

"Many residents are going to be confused by these changes. For example, people living in the Albion Street area will continue to be in Abbey ward as far as district and town elections are concerned, but in Park Hill for county elections.

"I'm particularly upset about what's going to happen in the areas around the old part of town, where I live. These new boundaries are an insult to Kenilworth."

Richard Dickson, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Kenilworth & Southam, said:

"The blame lies with the Conservatives, both on the County Council and also on Kenilworth Town Council, which failed even to register any objections when the draft recommendations were consulted upon.

"Having failed over many years to win the Kenilworth Abbey county seat at the ballot box, the Conservatives will no doubt be celebrating its imminent demise. I expect that many residents will feel short-changed by these changes when they happen in two years' time. I trust they'll remember whose fault it was."

Cllr John Whitehouse said:

"I've been proud to represent residents of the Kenilworth Abbey county division since 2005, and I'm very sad that the Commission was not willing to listen to the strong arguments put forward in favour of its retention.

"The new Lapworth & West Kenilworth division might make the Commission's numbers add up on a spreadsheet, but it makes no sense at all in terms of community links and community cohesion."

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. Details of the LGBCE review of Warwickshire electoral boundaries are at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews/west-midlands/warwickshire/warwickshire-county-council
  2. The final recommendations are at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/24665/Warwickshire_Final_Recommendations_Report_POST_EDITOR.pdf

The new electoral map of Warwickshire is at http://www.lgbce.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/24678/Warwickshire_F_Sht1_SO.pdf